There is less than a week left in this Raptors season and I can’t think of anyone that is upset about that fact. Jonas now out of the mix there really is little to get excited about in these last few games for the Raptors. All of the Toronto’s games against teams that will be heading to the playoffs with the Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Celtics.
One of the major concerns/disappointments of this season for the Raptors has been the record within the Atlantic Division. The record with two games left to go in the division is 3-11 and that is a big blow to any kind of chances of being a playoff contender. Sure divisions don’t hold the same weight as they did in the past but it is still 16 games of your 82 on the season and that is a significant enough portion to be concerned. It also is a concern that 3 of those four teams are heading to the playoffs. Not surprisingly it is the three teams that have the least concerns about the luxury tax system. All of them committing significant dollars to major start talents.
The Raptors have a lot of dollars committed to top players as well. The difference is they are far less established stars in this league. Paying for potential has not exactly served the Raptors well to this point. You only need to look at the contract of Andrea Bargnani as proof of that. Same can be said at this point for Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan to this point. Will the Raptors make the same mistake with Kyle Lowry at the end of next season as well? Ironically enough about the only contract that has lived up to the hype is the one they gave to Amir Johnson. It was a deal at the time it was signed that was widely scrutinized but it has been well worth money to this point.
Normally as we head towards an off-season there is tons of talk about the changes that can be made and the guys you could potentially add to the mix. The Raptors with out some luck in the lottery likely have no draft pick to bring in. They have basically nothing to offer in free agency other that the exception that everyone else will have. At the end of the day the only thing they have to make actual change to the roster is the trade market.
In terms off the choices away from the roster most feel that Bryan Colangelo will at least be around for his option year on his contract. If this is the case and he does not get an extension it seems fairly unlikely that Dwane Casey would be fired and Bryan is allowed to hire another coach. If the unexpected happens and Colangelo is gone that would make Dwane Casey’s future very much up in the air.
About the only way that Colangelo and Casey’s fate are not tied together would be if Colangelo some how was given an extension which seems highly unlikely. So the Raptors are a bad team that really looks like they will have few changes that they will make or could make.
They are banking on internal improvement or Bryan Colangelo’s ability to make trades happen when most feel it is next to impossible. He really doesn’t have a lot off attractive pieces to move. There is of course Andrea Bargnani and he almost has a gun to his head to move him at this point. DeMar DeRozan has been talked about as a trade piece but realistically have we seen enough from Terrence Ross to make that move with confidence?
We have plenty of time to talk about this stuff. For now we watch a season where many expected much more come to a slow and painful death that quite frankly everyone is more than ready to accept.